The United Kingdom chose their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 on the BBC programme Eurovision: Your Decision. It replaced the former selection programme, Making Your Mind Up after a string of bad results. It was broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 1 March 2008.
Andy Abraham was the winner of the contest with the song « Even If » and went on to represent the United Kingdom in Serbia. As a member of the ‘Big 4’, the United Kingdom was one of five countries directly qualified into the final on 24 May 2008 and does not need to compete in either of the semi-finals, although it was able to vote in the second of the two semi-finals.
- Early rumours
- National final
- Commentators and spokespersons
- Result and reaction
- See also
One of the rumours about the show was that the finalists of UK TV shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do would participate in a newly revamped Making Your Mind Up with songs written by the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow. This format was partially used in the final format, with one of the categories being ‘Joseph Vs. Maria’, with one artist from each show competing to make it into the semi-final.
There were wide sweeping rumours about which artists were going to try for Eurovision, one in particular was Bill Bailey however his tour in Australia kept him out, however he said that he might try out for next year.
Terry Wogan announced on his radio show, Wake Up To Wogan on 13 February 2008 that a new national final show would be titled Eurovision: Your Decision, to replace Making Your Mind Up. The show aired at 19.00 GMT and the results showed at 21.30 GMT. Terry Wogan hosted the show along with Claudia Winkleman, who replaced Fearne Cotton. There was a panel of three judges headed by Terry Wogan, with John Barrowman and Carrie Grant as the other two judges.
The format consisted of 3 categories, each with 2 songs in. One song qualified from each category, with a fourth wildcard song being picked by Terry Wogan. Then 2 participants with the highest number of phone votes sang again in a ‘superfinal’ later that evening.
|1||LoveShy||« Mr. Gorgeous »||Oscar Gorres, Teresia Bjarneby, Aimee Kearsley, Emma Beard||Girl Groups|
|2||The Revelations||« It’s You »||Adam Howorth||Girl Groups|
|3||Rob McVeigh||« I Owe It All to You »||Paul Barry, Mark Read||Joseph Vs. Maria|
|4||Simona Armstrong||« Changes »||Simon Ellis, Emma McGettrick, Mari Loretzen, Eleanor Wilson, Caroline Reed||Joseph Vs. Maria|
|5||Michelle Gayle||« Woo (U Make Me) »||Michelle Gayle, Morten Schjolin, Rashelle Davies||Soloists|
|6||Andy Abraham||« Even If«||Andy Abraham, Paul Wilson, Andy Watkins||Soloists|
The first category featured two different girl groups. LoveShy is the creation of two former members of girl group Clea. Emma Beard and Aimee Kearsley left the band and created the single Mr. Gorgeous which they performed on Your Decision. The other group in the category were named The Revelations and were made up of three friends.
|1||LoveShy||« Mr. Gorgeous »|
|2||The Revelations||« It’s You »|
In the second category the theme was Josephs v Marias. There were two finalists from reality TV shows How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do. Simona Armstrong from Maria and Rob McVeigh from Any Dream Will Do, performed to make it to the next round. The judges chose Simona 2 to 0, saying that Rob’s performance had « pitch problems ».
|1||Rob McVeigh||« I Owe It All to You »|
|2||Simona Armstrong||« Changes »|
In the final category two soloists performed for the chance to represent the UK. Ex-Eastender star turned singer Michelle Gayle sang « Woo (U Make Me) », and got through hands down to the semi-final and then precceded on to the final after the public vote. Andy still got through, after Terry Wogan used his wildcard to keep him in the competition.
|1||Michelle Gayle||« Woo (U Make Me) »|
|2||Andy Abraham||« Even If »|
The semi-final consisted of all the acts who made it through the first rounds and the wildcard Andy Abraham who was voted in by Terry Wogan. After the public vote only two of the four acts made it to the final. Simona Armstrong and The Revelations received the lowest amount of public votes, blocking them from entering the final. Michelle Gayle and Andy Abraham, the two soloists, proceeded to the final.
|1||The Revelations||It’s You|
|3||Michelle Gayle||Woo (U Make Me)|
|4||Andy Abraham||Even If|
In the final, the act who received the highest amount of televotes would win, and represent the United Kingdom in Serbia. Andy won and did represent the UK in the final of Eurovision 2008. Although Andy did hope the song would make a good showing in Belgrade, his task was not made easy. He came last with only 14 points.
|1||Michelle Gayle||Woo (U Make Me)|
|2||Andy Abraham||Even If|
Commentators and spokespersons
- Commentators – Paddy O’Connell and Caroline Flack (semi-finals),Terry Wogan – television, and Ken Bruce – radio (final).
- Spokespersons – Carrie Grant
Result and reaction
The United Kingdom’s entry finished in 25th position with 14 points, joint last with Germany and Poland. Following Eurovision tie-breaking rules, the United Kingdom was placed last overall as it had fewer 12-point votes than Germany and fewer 10-point votes than Poland.
BBC Eurovision host Terry Wogan called Abraham’s song, « Even If« , « the best UK entry for a while », expressed frustration with the contest result and suggested that Britain follows Italy‘s suit and no longer enter the competition. In his radio show on 27 May, Wogan remarked on a conversation with Abraham, who had said that he was not expecting a high vote for the usual ‘block voting’ reasons, and ‘another reason’ which Wogan was not prepared to discuss on air, presumed to be related to Abraham’s race. In an interview, Swedish group Bodies Without Organs stated that if the UK put in more effort then they can win. They also mentioned in the interview that they had been invited to participate in a United Kingdom national final before, but refused as they were not allowed to write their own song.
Points Awarded by United Kingdom
Points Awarded to United Kingdom
|12 points||10 points||8 points||7 points||6 points|
|5 points||4 points||3 points||2 points||1 point|
- Schacht, Andreas (2008-03-01). « UK selects Andy Abraham! ». www.eurovision.tv. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- Reality stars to sing in Eurovision for Britain – Sunday Mirror Archived 23 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Press Office (2 May 2008). « Eurovision Song Contest 2008: BBC coverage ». BBC. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- « Talking Shop: Carrie Grant ». BBC News. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- « Russia scoops Eurovision victory ». BBC News. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- Staff writer (2008-05-25). « Wogan ‘may quit Eurovision role‘« . BBC News Online. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
- Levine, Nick (1 August 2008). « Music – Interview – BWO – Digital Spy ». Digital Spy. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
(Note: Entries scored out are when United Kingdom did not compete)